Biofuel

By Dana Melcher, Corridor Communications Intern

Industry experts from Battelle claim that no other location in the country compares to Iowa when it comes to the complete suite of capabilities we have for bioscience development. Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production with over 40 ethanol plants consuming nearly half of the corn grown in Iowa, contributing more than $10 million to Iowa’s economy and supporting 58,000 jobs.

An example of Iowa leading the way in bioscience development is when the first gallon of commercial cellulosic was produced at the Quad County Corn Processors facility in Galva, Iowa last July. Using cellulosic material from field residue, known as corn stover, provides a lower-cost alternative to making ethanol from corn kernels.

Last September, the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility opened in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The venture, dubbed Project Liberty, is a $250 million partnership between Royal DSM, a Dutch biotechnology company, and Poet, a Sioux Falls-based ethanol maker. The facility is expected to produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in its first year of production. Also, Iowa State University is conducting region-specific studies in the Emmetsburg area to determine the best practices for residue removal.

Cellulosic ethanol will soon be produced right here in the Corridor, when the DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol Facility in Nevada becomes fully operational as the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol production facility. The plant will work with approximately 500 local famers to gather, store and deliver dry stover, which will produce 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.